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Hiring Smart for Workplace Success

by Cheryl Lyon-Hislop

It isn't as bleak as the photo...

Most of the SME companies I partner have hired new employees. I've helped them in the process of interviewing in the right way, to get the fit for their culture and values. One of the ways, in which you can test the readiness for hiring to support growth, is to work through a "Readiness Questionnaire". It checks that the leader and colleagues are prepared to include their new hire as a core team member; that the onboarding process is individually planned in advance, and that the fit is as close to the business and team needs as possible.

The hiring process has to be smart for a number of reasons. Smart hiring checks that mindsets are wired to expand, not contract. You can explore independence and desire for team work, and how the relevant behaviours can be applied in your workplace. Finally, you can explore how employees like to make decisions, learn and want to be included as part of the team. Inclusiveness is a key part of engagement. you want to ensure your hire is a success, and quickly.

So, just as a point of clarification, inclusiveness is a term coined when the employee ideas are treated as important to the way the business operates. I find it helpful to discuss empowerment in an interview as employees are more likely to raise their efforts and commitment levels to a successful level when their role is clear, they are motivated to 'act' when they can, and contributions are valued. But, you need to explore to what extent empowerment is suitable for you, as a business, and for the candidate. I tend to find that if capable employees cannot make even simple decisions without referring to an authority figure, it can demotivate and cause attrition.

Benefit from exploring the right areas in interview...

  • Stronger bonds of responsibility stem from inclusiveness and team members are more likely to suggest ideas and put in extra effort as they see the benefits of owning part of the process. Ask questions to explore accountability levels and the ability to 'own' behaviour and decisions.
  • When there is a successful outcome, morale and engagement increases. Explore specific examples of individual and team success, linked clearly to organisational success. Are the examples relevant or suitable to the role/level in question?
  • Success is created by actions, not by luck or coincidence, but by hard effort and the ability to overcome obstacles. Explore specific examples of candidates overcoming obstacles and challenges. Don't forget to probe individual accountability, persistence, resilience, and what learning took place as a result.

Of course, motivational fit is personal and individual. If you can ascertain what an employee likes to do, what they don't like to do, what they avoid doing, and what their strengths are, you'll build a clearer picture of their fit within your team. That's so important for growing businesses.

Carry out your own "Hiring Readiness" Check by getting the guide below. Packed with advice, a checklist and a planner, it's a 'must have' tool if you want to hire in the right way.

Or, if you think you are ready to go ahead, check out the Behavioural Questioning 'How to...' Guide, which comes with a bank of comptency-based questions, a proven interview structure and measures around what constitutes good and poor examples. A blank interview form is prepared, ready for you to fill in.

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